Thanks to Charles Mackay and Daniel Richard Zillmann of the Santa Fe Opera, for a well-coordinated press event marking the company's upcoming world premiere of Jennifer Higdon's opera based on Cold Mountain. It was a great pleasure to meet Charles Frazier, author of the book, as well as tenor Jay Hunter Morris, who will sing the role of Teague, the Confederate Captain.
Morris was especially funny, and related an early career memory of a rehearsal with singer Marilyn Horne. At one point he accidentally spit out a piece of bubble gum - which landed on the floor right in front of her. She slowly picked it up, examined it, and said, "Is this yours?" After an embarrassed nod, he retrieved the (now pretty grimy) gum and popped it back in his mouth. So in addition to his many triumphs - including the title role in Wagner's Siegfried at the Met - Morris now has the mantle of "the bubble gum guy."